I picked the web developer hat from the drawer two months ago and I’ve been learning and doing web development since. I started by updating my own homepage using WordPress due to couple of reasons. First of all I was interested to know how smooth it is to develop a website using WP these days since WP is still very popular framework for simple website development. I was also preparing to do basic website development for some time and I wanted to know more about WP since it’s kind of the biggest enemy for a web dev ;).
Based on my experiences it depends quite a lot of the chosen theme whether the development is easy and fast or not. Even if the WP framework and themes offer huge amount of features straight out of the box and even more are available via plugins there are quite a lot of details which you may need to manually tune or fix. However if you get to know few different high quality themes very well you can do new sites incredibly fast especially if you’re good graphic designer or able to outsource the design work.
I barely managed to publicise my homepage – which leaves quite a lot to be desired for the moment – when I got the chance to participate in a real web development project. For the last month I’ve been developing a Node.js back end REST server for a new web service.
So I haven’t had time to dig deep into basic website or front end development just yet, but I’ve really enjoyed Node.js back end development. Due to my limited experience with different back end web development technologies I cannot really compare Node.js with other alternatives, but it’s been a nice experience and very fast way to get started. It’s possible to implement a decent REST API server with surprisingly small effort.
The project I’m working with is about implementing a new b2b service for a customer and updating their old services architecture wise. The new service is not yet publicly released, but the official launch should happen within next few weeks.
I’m working in a small team with two other likeminded web developers and we’re all working from our own home offices or coworking spaces. The development has definitely been agile and we’ve already experienced many of the pros and cons small development teams will eventually face. Despite the challenges I’ve liked the varying pace of the development and the flexible working hours allow me to combine work and play very well.
The development has been very fun and fulfilling. I’ve enjoyed solving different kinds of small challenges like JWT based user authentication or attachment file support. And now we’re approaching the public launch which brings new challenges with it since the service should be maintainable and monitorable in the long run. I’ve had the opportunity to follow big web service launches from very close already before, but this is the first web service I’ve actually been developing myself. There are still work to do and corners to polish, but for the moment I’m confident we can make a successful service launch.
So far I’ve really enjoyed being a web developer. I’ve managed to put enough time and mind in learning new skills as well as contributing for the ongoing customer project. If I’m able to continue working in projects utilising latest web tech while also investing some time for additional dev skills improvement I should be in a quite good position in web dev markets within a year or so although mastering the art of web development takes much more time.
I also like the freedom I’m having regarding the projects and assignments. I’m doing web service back end development now, but it’s very much possible I’m doing react native mobile app development or front end web development during coming weeks. Most likely it would be a good idea to focus a bit more into certain area and tech, but I think it’s not necessary just yet.
Various kind of opportunities have also emerged during the last month. Some opportunities have realised while some haven’t, but even for an introvert like me there seems to be a good amount of interesting work opportunities available. I also have few service ideas myself and I’ll try to find time for pushing those forward early next year.
I’ve very much enjoyed the ride so far and I’m really grateful the work and other things have turned out in good way and my digital nomad adventure has started on a positive note. And even if my recent life choices are somewhat unusual I still have good and trustworthy family and friends in Finland I can always lean on. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope things will continue progressing the way they have also from here on.